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Brighton community pub set to open doors
The country's first community owned pub on a council estate is set to open its doors after a £130,000 funding boost.
The Bevendean in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, was closed by police following a string of violent incidents in 2010.
But, after a two-year campaign to reopen the once-troubled boozer in Hillside as a place for the whole community, those behind it have revealed it has received a six-figure boost from Social Investment Business.
Together with more than £44,000 raised from selling shares to more than 500 people, work can now start on the revamp of the Bevy with the aim of opening in the next few months.
The news was announced at a Christmas party in The Lectern in Lewes Road, Brighton, on Friday night.
Warren Carter, one of the group’s founders, said: “It feels fantastic that we are not only playing our part in reversing pub closures but also coming up with a model of how pubs need to change if they are to survive.
“From the Brownies to art groups, Albion In The Community to health services, credit union to repair workshops, the range of groups saying they will use the Bevy shows that it will be so much more than just a pub.”
The new pub will be run as a not for profit co-operative venture.
Plans include creating a pub/cafe, community kitchen, play areas and vegetable garden for those living in Moulsecoomb, Bevendean and Bates Estate.
In October, it received the Business in the Community category prize at the Argus Achievement Awards.
Father John Wall, of St Andrew’s Church, Moulsecoomb, said: “This grant is an amazing vote of confidence in our vision for our community.
“I have always said every decent neighbourhood deserves a good church and a good pub: now in Moulsecoomb we’ll have both.
“I can’t wait for the first pint to be pulled.”
Helen Jones, the group’s secretary, said: “This is fantastic news – and such a relief that all the hard work of the last two and a half years has paid off.
“The vision of The Bevy as a social hub for all the community from young to old and everyone in between has been our inspiration.
“What’s wonderful is that the Social Investment Business appreciates our vision and has been prepared to back us.”
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